I think we all agree that we need to work together to restore the value of game meat, and we need to do it quickly. To this end, shoots need game dealers and game dealers need shoots if we are to prosper.
We can’t afford for any more processors to cease trading, so they need our support. I can assure you it’s not an easy business, especially now, to make viable.
The ways in which you can support your dealer is by giving them the best possible game that has been stored and handled correctly, because wastage is their biggest cost. How can we expect them to make a business and continue to pay for our birds if we are asking them to utilise what’s left after the guns and beaters have taken the best at the end of a day’s shooting, particularly if what’s left isn’t stored or handled correctly.
Some shoots might consider cutting the game dealer out altogether by selling birds directly to the local butcher, farm shop or pub, but we must remember that doing so would be illegal if the shoot is not registered as a food business with it’s local authority. It would also undercut the game dealer’s market, leading to a race to the bottom that does nothing but strip value from our wonderful game meat.
We need to reverse our attitude to the game we shoot, and think of creative ways to use the game meat from non-grade A birds on the shoot to feed the guns and beaters, allowing the game dealer to take the birds that are easier to process and sell. Introduce your guns and beaters to the delights of pheasant curries, game kofta’s and partridge satays. Thinking differently about game is the answer to using the birds that the dealer might struggle to sell, it’s so versatile so think outside the box and head to our custom recipes on our Eat Wild Website for inspiration.
The BGA continues to make progress with nearly 250 shoots on board, with a clear increase in the rate of signups as understanding of our role continues to improve and spread, and you can see some of the new bigger stockists we have got on board since our last newsletter. We also continue to progress talks with exciting opportunities here in the UK and abroad, but such opportunities have longer lead times and so due to timescales will be implemented next season. If you have concerns or questions please get in touch by replying to this email or call the office on 0203 727 5204.
I hope you’re enjoying being out in the field, let’s continue to work together to savour those special moments.